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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Ice axe or trekking poles RichardK 04/16/21 09:59 PM
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Re: Meysan Lake in July HikingPerson 04/14/21 06:38 PM
Originally Posted by Steve C
Since Meysan Lake is seldom used for camping, I would highly doubt you would have any bear encounters. The bears congregate around Whitney Portal because of the campground, and the possibility of stealing dayhikers packs in the early morning hours when they are getting ready to hike (they set their daypack down, and the thief makes a grab-and-go run). I've not seen any reports of bear encounters on the Main Trail above Whitney Portal, so the chances at Meysan are miniscule. The biggest problem on the Whitney Trail are the marmots and mice getting into hikers' food. So use a bear proof container, and you will be just fine.

As for rain, watch the weather forecast just before you go. If I were going, and no storms are forecast, I'd leave my tent in the car. On the other hand, any chance of thunderstorms, take the appropriate gear. You can find good weather links in the Mt Whitney Weather page.

This being a low-snow year (about 60% of normal), you will be lucky to find significant patches of snow in late July.

Thanks very much for all of that good information. When I was there in November I did not see any Marmots, I was wondering if they were up there... I guess they were hibernating already. I really enjoyed the area when I was there and plan to keep going back at least once a year, hopefully twice.

Thanks again!
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Trip Reports Jump to new posts
Re: Lone Pine Peak Trip Report, 4/11/21 jackeichler 04/13/21 04:27 PM
Well done. Love that area, and it's great to see the current conditions and think about being in those mountains. Great pictures.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Whitney Portal Road opening 2021 MikeH 04/13/21 01:44 PM
Thanks for the updates, Steve. smile
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail Ryan Cox 04/13/21 12:46 AM
Thanks Steve, much appreciated. Yeah looks like no good options right now, melted out on every side!
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Trip Reports Jump to new posts
Re: Trip Report for 7/2/2011 onehotchili 04/09/21 10:16 PM
Just re-reading my TR from almost 10 years ago. With kids, soccer, good and bad life things taking priority.... my wife and I are finally getting back for another day hike this Sept.

We are thinking MR for the up and MWMT for the down. I did the MR in 2006 which was super fun.

Anyhow, looking forward to a fun summer of training... and keeping my fingers crossed for a minimal fire/smoke season.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: May 15th MR Conditions bobpickering 04/09/21 04:03 AM
Miss you, Gary! Let me know when you'll be here!
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Mt Whitney Permit Lottery Info 2021 Steve C 04/06/21 07:05 AM
Louie: Fully booked, but some winners decide not to pay for them. Those become available May 1. So be sure to check then.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Sharp End Podcast on Whitney accident from 1980s Steve C 04/06/21 05:17 AM
People do bizarre things when they are faced with unfamiliar territory. There was a fellow who summitted Whitney from the Crabtree area via the JMT, and may have thought he could shortcut back down by heading down the north side. He didn't make it out alive.

I have seen several trip reports of people ascending the north side of Whitney. But the trick seems to be doing it when there is snow -- crampons get way more grip on snow than hiking boots on granite.

For the 1980s story, people sometimes do superhuman things when injured -- like walking out with broken bones.

For more dark reading: Mt Whitney SAR activity: Injury, Rescue, Deaths, Recovery

Edit: Notes from listening to the podcast... Epic story! They had almost completed the JMT via snow in ~April/May. His slide was at least cushioned by snow; miraculously, he was not injured badly -- hairline fractures in his back. She was downclimbing with a 30 pound pack when she slipped. Her list of injuries is phenomenal! They stayed in their tent at the base of the north face two days waiting out the storm. Finally got to Lone Pine 5 days after being on the summit. She returned years later to the fall site, found the heel of her boot, and his ski. Recovery: bedridden 4 months. Was hiking the following summer. Plagued by chronic pain -- using walker in 2007. Went to Katmandu to see a physician who helped get past the pain. Her partner(and husband) did not want to discuss the problem; they eventually split after 20 years.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Newbie to hiking - Got the lottery permit RichardK 04/05/21 02:10 PM
javapro - You are getting some good advice here from people who know. Forget about a guide service. I don't think there is one for the main trail. No one needs one for that anyway. As someone once said, the Whitney day hike requires mostly stamina, determination, and a good pair of boots. Fran and I summitted 5 times. Here is what worked for us. YMMV.

1. Do workout hikes at altitude. We were fortunate to live 45 minutes from Mt Baldy (10,064') in So Cal. If you don't have elevation available, then prepare to arrive in Lone Pine several days early to do some hikes at altitude. Horseshoe Meadows comes to mind as nearby. A paved road leads to a trailhead at 9900'. A variety of hikes are available here.
2. Start taking the herbal supplement gingko biloba about a week before your hike. It is available in the vitamin section of any grocery or drug store. Several studies show it helps with altitude effects.
3. Take some aspirin when you start as a preventative.
4. Be well hydrated before you start. It's dry at altitude. Drink water and sports drinks on a schedule. If you wait until you are thirsty, then you are already dehydrated.
5. Take foods that you enjoy eating as there is some loss of appetite at altitude. Favor carbs and fats over the harder to digest proteins.
6. Don't carry a lot of water. Water is heavy. Use a filter pump or sterilizing tablets and refill water bottles from creeks and ponds. Water sources are readily available along the trail until you reach the high camp Trail Camp. Fill at least 3 liters per person from the pond for the dry push to the summit. There is a spring about 1/3 way up the switchbacks, but it will be frozen before sunrise.
7. Tom Harrison makes a good map. Be familiar with the landmarks. You can hike to Lone Pine Lake without a permit. Do it as you will see in daylight what you will be going through in the dark.

As I said, this is what worked for us. It may or may not work for you. It may or may not be what anybody else has done.

Good luck and please post a report.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Mt Whitney Trail and Snow Conditions in May Steve C 04/05/21 05:12 AM
RB, even after the driest of winters, May 25 is an extremely early time to use the switchbacks. Here's a link:
When will Mt Whitney switchbacks open?

I think your chances of using the switchbacks are 50-50 or lower. You will definitely have significant snow above Trail Camp. You should try again on May 1 to see if you can get something later in the summer.

Beginners using the chute is not optimum. If you had someone with experience to show you the techniques, including ice axe self-arrest, that would be best.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Whitney Hut: Thunderstorms, Lightning safety. joinsocal 04/01/21 03:34 PM

Thanks so much for taking the time and energy to post the detailed response from a decade ago. After looking up "Faraday cage" and "equipotential", getting in the weeds on to-hut or not-to-hut controversies, and realizing there was a lot more to the storm/hut story, I want to read more!

Love the intellect on this message board.

Very sincerely,
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Requesting Donations joinsocal 03/31/21 09:30 PM
And me, four! (Really appreciate this message board! Thank you!)
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Picture Gallery Jump to new posts
Whitney Range Joy granthoag 03/31/21 06:45 PM
Joy on Approach to Ice Berg Lake. 2020
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Picture Gallery Jump to new posts
East Face Route granthoag 03/31/21 06:40 PM
Fresh Air Traverse 2020
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Picture Gallery Jump to new posts
Painting granthoag 03/31/21 06:37 PM
"Whitney Range" by Steven Nootenboom
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Trip Reports Jump to new posts
Re: Snow Conditions on Switchbacks June 16 BFR 03/30/21 12:12 AM
I would tell you I climbed around this date with this snowfall and the switchbacks were about to be open. However, the chute was so well trodden that it was basically a 1000' staircase to the crest.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Sleeping in my car rkjunker 03/29/21 04:25 PM
Long time reader of this forum, but never posted. This story inspired me to finally sign up. I have suffered from altitude sickness for a long time and I read this article a few years back and it has changed my hiking life. Using Ibuprofen to help combat altitude sickness has helped me immensely (YMMV). Here is a link to an article about it, but I recommend you search "ibuprofen altitude sickness" and do your own research before trying anything.

Good luck. I am planning on doing the Mtnr's Route this month and will definitely be taking some Ibuprofen with me. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much information about conditions on the mountain. Hopefully, some people start going and posting details of the route.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Nurse dies after fall at Mount Whitney Jeremyhi 03/29/21 02:59 AM
Found out after the fact this was the same day I had gone up for a solo day hike to the summit. Hiked from Lone Pine Lake to WP between 4-6pm and nothing was unusual or disturbed along main trail. Sad to know someone was somewhere out there in need of help.
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Trip Reports Jump to new posts
Re: How was the snow this year? Steve C 03/28/21 03:13 AM
If you have experience with your winter climbing gear, have done Rainier in May, and have been on the Whitney trail in June, I'd think you won't encounter anything that you can't handle. The accidents mostly occur on "the chute" (actually the snow slope west of the 99 switchbacks below Trail Crest. That's where people with less than optimum gear and experience (ice axe and crampons) may lose their footing and slide and get hurt.

I've not heard of any snow accidents between Trail Crest and the summit. What you're thinking are shady areas (that I can think of) are the west-facing slopes. They melt out before the chute, and shouldn't give you any trouble if you are using the proper gear.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Hiking newbies, got some questions hcy 03/28/21 02:48 AM
Thank you Steve for the info and answers. I will probably save this trail for next time!
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Walk in Steve C 03/26/21 11:25 PM
I answered that question here.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Petition To Return To PreCovid Walk-in Permit System Steve C 03/26/21 11:24 PM
Samanthia, currently the old "walk-in" permits are supposed to be made available online. But of course for the lottery permits for Whitney, they are all reserved in the lottery, with none held back for walk-in status. So online, the only ones that will show up are any cancellations, which are made available "at a random time over the following 24 hours".

In the past, there were quite a few available for walk-in requests due to groups reducing their size when they pick up permits, and also no-shows. Inyo tells me they are trying to automate making the no-shows available online, but I don't think that is operational yet. Here's hoping they can get it working this summer.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: 3 ONE DAY PERMITS NEEDED Steve C 03/25/21 04:05 PM
Foxtrot, permits cannot be transferred or sold. Only thing you could do is join someone else who just happened to have 3 extra slots due to people in their party cancelling, so you could join them. And that is probably never going to happen.

The best thing you can do is watch on May 1 for any permits that people won in the lottery but did not pay for. You have to be fast if you see any pop up.

Otherwise, we are hoping that Inyo N.F. gets the no-show process working so that those come available the day before a hike date.
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General Discussion Jump to new posts
Re: Permit lottery not successful what next? WanderingJim 03/24/21 01:49 PM
March 24, 2021 Lottery results published
April 1, 2021 Reservations open for remaining dates at 7am PST
April 30, 2021 Deadline to confirm awarded lottery reservation and pay reservation fees
May 1, 2021 Dates from unclaimed lottery released for web reservation at 7am PST

So, basically, you can start checking April 1st at 7am for any permits that weren't awarded in the lottery.
Then May 1st at 7am, any permits that weren't accepted and paid for will go up for grabs.
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